Survey Says Small Businesses Want Help During the Pandemic -- So Why Aren't They Asking for It?

·4 min read

Many struggling small businesses are passing up the opportunity to receive government aid, according to a new survey by GOBankingRates and Solvable

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Due in large part to the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 has been a roller coaster ride for many Americans. Businesses have been severely affected by nationwide shutdowns and safety measures, forcing some to close their doors forever. Fortunately, government assistance programs like the Paycheck Protection program have helped sustain businesses across the nation. However, a surprising number of Americans aren't asking for this help.

American businesses have been severely affected by COVID-19 and some have been forced to close their doors forever
American businesses have been severely affected by COVID-19 and some have been forced to close their doors forever

A survey by GOBankingRates and Solvable asked 1,229 Americans about their experience receiving government aid during COVID-19. The survey was broken down by employment type with responses from small business owners, freelancers, W-2 workers and retirees.

Interestingly, while the survey revealed small business owners are indeed struggling, 28% of them said they had not applied for any government financial assistance in response to COVID-19. In contrast, many big businesses like Shake Shack and Ruth's Chris Steak House applied for these government-backed PPP loans -- many of which really didn't need the money. If big companies aren't too shy to take government handouts, then why are so many struggling small businesses passing up the opportunity to? Here are some possible reasons why:

  • They don't know where to start.

  • They don't know about the assistance available.

  • They don't think they qualify.

  • They think it's too time intensive.

But there are multiple forms of government assistance that many different types of people and businesses can take advantage of during these difficult times. The following information is a look at these government benefits in the (5) states with the greatest number of small businesses. Benefits include the average PPP loan amount (when it was still available), the FEMA enhanced benefit amount and what residents of that particular state might make from Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

Top 5 States with the Most Small Businesses

1. California

  • Number of PPP loans approved through August 8: 623,360

  • Average PPP loan size: $110,120

  • FEMA enhanced benefit amount available: $300

  • When FEMA enhanced benefits will start: Sept. 7

  • PUA weekly benefit available: $167 - $450

2. Texas

  • Number of PPP loans approved through August 8: 417,276

  • Average PPP loan size: $99,039

  • FEMA enhanced benefit amount available: $300

  • When FEMA enhanced benefits will start: Aug. 24

  • PUA weekly benefit available: $207 - $521

3. Florida

  • Number of PPP loans approved through August 8: 432,893

  • Average PPP loan size: $74,502

  • FEMA enhanced benefit amount available: $300

  • When FEMA enhanced benefits will start: To be determined

  • PUA weekly benefit available: Up to $275

4. New York

  • Number of PPP loans approved through August 8: 348,870

  • Average PPP loan size: $110,929

  • FEMA enhanced benefit amount available: $300

  • When FEMA enhanced benefits will start: To be determined

  • PUA weekly benefit available: $172 - $504

5. Illinois

  • Number of PPP loans approved through August 8: 225,409

  • Average PPP loan size: $101,368

  • FEMA enhanced benefit amount available: $300

  • When FEMA enhanced benefits will start: To be determined

  • PUA weekly benefit available: $51 - $580

There is no doubt that COVID-19 has affected people regardless of economic situation, but some were hit harder than others. Solvable's original report goes into greater detail on the makeup of the survey respondents and their specific economic situations.

Additional Insights

  1. Ten percent of respondents were freelancers or self-employed -- the majority of freelancers (73%) reported losing income due to COVID-19.

  2. The majority of respondents (72%) indicated that they were W-2 workers, and 40% were laid off, furloughed or experienced a reduction in income.

  3. Freelancers were also eligible for a PPP loan, but only 18% of these respondents applied for the loan. Of that, more than 75% were approved.

  4. Twenty-seven percent of respondents reported being unemployed -- of those, 45% claimed that they were laid off or furloughed due to COVID-19.

If you have any questions about the survey or wish to speak to a GOBankingRates editorial representative, please direct all media inquiries to:

Contact:

Christine Kayayan, Media Relations
GOBankingRates.com
ckayayan@consumertrack.com
310-297-9233 x101

About GOBankingRates
GOBankingRates.com is a personal finance news and features website dedicated to helping visitors Live Richer™. From tips on saving money to investing for retirement or finding a good interest rate, GOBankingRates helps turn financial goals into milestones and money dreams into realities. Its content is regularly featured on top-tier media outlets, including MSN, Yahoo!, FOX Business, CNBC, Business Insider, USA Today and dozens of others. GOBankingRates specializes in connecting consumers with the financial institutions and products that best match their needs. Start your journey toward a rich mind and full wallet with us at www.gobankingrates.com.

GOBankingRates.com is a leading portal for personal finance news and features, offering visitors the latest information on everything from interest rates to strategies on saving money and getting out of debt. Its editors are regularly featured on top-tier media outlets, including U.S. News & World Report, MSN Money, Daily Finance, Huffington Post, Business Insider and many more. It also specializes in connecting consumers with the best banks, credit unions and interest rates nationwide. (PRNewsfoto/GOBankingRates)
GOBankingRates.com is a leading portal for personal finance news and features, offering visitors the latest information on everything from interest rates to strategies on saving money and getting out of debt. Its editors are regularly featured on top-tier media outlets, including U.S. News & World Report, MSN Money, Daily Finance, Huffington Post, Business Insider and many more. It also specializes in connecting consumers with the best banks, credit unions and interest rates nationwide. (PRNewsfoto/GOBankingRates)
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SOURCE GOBankingRates